Located just below the south side of the Hohensalzburg Fortress in Salzburg, the Nonnberg Convent (German: Stift Nonnberg), is one of the oldest continously-functioning nunneries in the world.
History of Nonnberg Convent
Nonnberg was founded in 700 by St. Rupert (a.k.a. Bishop Rupert of Worms), to whom Salzburg Cathedral is dedicated. Rupert's niece St. Erentrudis was the first abbess; a late-Gothic statue of her stands in the archway. The convent adopted the rule of St. Benedict in the 9th century and was reconstructed in the Romanesque style around 1000.
These days, the convent is most famous as "Maria's convent" - both the one in The Sound of Music film and that of the real Maria. She was a novice nun here and returned to marry Captain von Trapp in the Gothic church. However, no filming was done here: Nonnberg was recreated in the film studios of Salzburg-Parsch.
What to See at Nonnberg Convent
The large Nonnberg Convent includes the Church of St. Maria Himmelfahrt (Late Gothic, rebuilt 1464-1506), the cloisters, a hall, the nuns' cells, a refectory (dining hall), the old abbey, St. John’s Chapel, and the Pieta chapel. Parts of the private quarters for the nuns, which include some lovely intricate woodcarving, can be seen by prior arrangement.
Much of the convent was rebuilt after a fire in 1423, but remains of the original Romanesque building can be see in the main gate and in the frescoes in the choir, painted in the Byzantine style during the 10th century. Located just below the steeple, these are some of the oldest frescoes in Austria.
Each evening in May at 7:00, the nuns of Nonnberg Convent sing a 15-minute service called Maiandacht in Gregorian chant. Their beautiful voices can also be heard at the 11 PM mass on Christmas Eve.
Quick Facts on Nonnberg Convent
|Names:||Benediktinenstift Nonnberg · Nonnberg Convent · Stift Nonnberg|
|Dedication:||Virgin Mary (Assumption)|
|Dates:||10th, 15th C|
|Visitor and Contact Information|
|Coordinates:||47.796054° N, 13.051372° E|
|Hours:||Summer: daily 7-7|
Fall-Spring: daily 7-5
|Lodging:||View hotels near Nonnberg Convent|
- Photos of Nonnberg Convent - here on Sacred Destinations
Map of Nonnberg Convent, Salzburg
Below is a location map and aerial view of Nonnberg Convent. Using the buttons on the left (or the wheel on your mouse), you can zoom in for a closer look, or zoom out to get your bearings. To move around, click and drag the map with your mouse.